Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
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Corridor Signing Policy

7. Temporary Signs

In this chapter:

  1. Temporary Signs Subject To Approval Of The Ministry
  2. Types Of Temporary Signs
  3. Requirements Regarding Temporary Signs
  4. Maximum Of Two Temporary Signs On One Property
  5. Temporary Signs Shall Face Traffic
  6. Separate Approval Required In Each MTO Area Office
  7. Certain Signs Prohibited If Event Advertised Operated For Private Profit
  8. Letter Of Approval May Be Withdrawn If Sign Placed In Contravention Of Instructions
  9. If Event Advertised Is Postponed Expiry Date May Be Extended
  10. Election Signs
  11. Canadian Forces Convoy Route Markers
  12. Snowmobile Crossing Sign
  13. Development/Real Estate/Construction Signs
  14. Portable Signs (Mobile)

  1. Temporary Signs Subject To Approval Of The Ministry

    Each temporary sign shall be subject to the approval of the Ministry. The general restrictions regarding signs shall apply to each temporary sign. The location of temporary signs shall be restricted as specified in this policy. A Letter of Approval will be required for certain types of temporary signs as specified herein. Each request for a temporary sign(s) must state the maximum number of signs the applicant proposes to place. A fee will not be required for a Letter of Approval.

  2. Types Of Temporary Signs

    Temporary signs shall include:

    1. agricultural society signs, plowmen's association signs, plowing match, exhibition and fall fair signs and the signs placed by recognized organizations of a similar nature to advertise a particular event. Certain approved signs may be placed by the Ministry to direct persons to temporary events, e.g., a plowing match, etc.;
    2. the signs of recognized service clubs and religious and charitable organizations and of other recognized public service organizations which signs are placed to advertise a particular event;
    3. private auction sale signs; and,
    4. Election signs, Canadian Forces Convoy Route markers, Snowmobile crossing signs, Real Estate/Development signs, Mobile signs.

    Note: Commercial auction sale signs are prohibited as a temporary sign.

  3. Requirements Regarding Temporary Signs

    A Temporary sign must not:

    • exceed 3.0 m2 (32 ft2) in size;
    • be affixed to another sign or to a guide rail or other highway facility or structure;
    • be placed adjacent to a Class 1 or a Class 2 highway, excepting certain real estate signs or other signs as specifically permitted by this policy;
    • be placed within the highway right-of-way except where this policy specifically states that this may be done;
    • be placed where it may interfere with an official sign, traffic signal or safety device;
    • be in place for longer than a four (4) weeks period;
    • remain in place more than 3 days after the expiry date in the Letter of Approval;
    • exceed one sign facing in each direction of travel on any 2.0 km section of a provincial highway; and,
    • be further than 8.0 km. from the site of the event being advertised.
       
  4. Maximum Of Two Temporary Signs On One Property

    A maximum of two temporary signs shall be permitted upon any one property at any one time.

  5. Temporary Signs Shall Face Traffic

    Each temporary sign shall not be located on the left hand side facing the motorist.

    Only one Letter of Approval shall be required to cover all temporary signs placed by one person or organization to advertise one event etc. within one Area Office of the Ministry. Each Letter of Approval shall stipulate the maximum number of temporary signs which may be placed under the conditions of that Letter of Approval.

  6. Separate Approval Required In Each MTO Area Office

    When temporary signs advertising one event etc. are to be placed in locations involving more than one Ministry Area Office, a separate Letter of Approval shall be required from each Ministry Area Office in which the signs are to be placed.

    Multiple requests submitted by the same organization within the same calendar year will be required to follow the billboard guidelines.

  7. Certain Signs Prohibited If Event Advertised Operated For Private Profit

    Temporary signs must not be placed by, or on behalf of, a person or organization to advertise an event that is conducted for private profit. These restrictions shall apply to a circus, midway, thrill show, automobile and horse racing signs etc., except when the function is sponsored by a recognized public service or charitable organization to which a percentage of the gross receipts will accrue under the terms of a signed contract.

  8. Letter Of Approval May Be Withdrawn If Sign Placed In Contravention Of Instructions

    A Letter of Approval for temporary signs may be cancelled if the person or organization to whom the approval was issued, or an agent thereof, places a sign(s) in a manner that is contrary to the conditions approved by the Ministry.

  9. If Event Advertised Is Postponed Expiry Date May Be Extended

    If an event advertised by means of temporary signs has been postponed due to rain or other reasons, the date of expiry of the original approval may be extended by the Delegated Authority. The holder of the Letter of Approval must notify the Delegated Authority of the postponement of the event and of the new date on which it is expected the event will be held.

  10. Election Signs

    An election sign must not be placed upon or adjacent to the right-of-way of a Class 1 Freeway or Class 2 Staged Freeway.

    Election signs may be erected on the right-of-way or adjacent to a Class 2 undivided Staged Freeway, a Class 3 Special Controlled Access highway, a Class 4 Major highway or Class 5 Minor highway after an official election has been called.

    Signs up to 0.7 m2 (8 ft2) in size must be placed a minimum of 4m (12 ft.) from edge of pavement. Signs over 0.7 m2 (8 ft2) and up to 3.7 m2 (40 ft2) must be placed at the outer limit of the highway right-of-way.

    Election signs may be placed on the right-of-way of a highway other than a Class 1 Freeway and Class 2 divided Staged Freeway, but must be placed at least 4m (12 ft.) from edge of pavement.

    An election sign must not be affixed to a permanent or an official sign or to the guide rail or other highway structure or facility and must not be placed where it may interfere with visibility, an official sign, traffic signal, or other safety device.

    Portable read-o-graph sign trailers are prohibited on the right-of-way of a highway. Such read-o-graph sign trailers may be utilized providing they are erected on private property and meet the requirements of the Ministry for portable read-o-graph signing.

    Permits or Letters of Approval for any election signs erected under this policy are not required.

    Candidate committees, or workers shall be allowed three (3) working days after election day in order to remove candidate advertising (election signs) from the Ministry right-of-way and adjacent properties.

    Signs not retrieved by this time will be picked up by the Ministry patrol forces and stored in a safe place (patrol yard, etc.,) for a period of two weeks. After this time they will be disposed of.

  11. Canadian Forces Convoy Route Markers

    Route markers in the form of tack signs, approximately 36 cm. by 25 cm. (14 in. by 10 in.) will be permitted affixed to trees, posts and Ministry Official Signs.

    These markers may be placed one day before the convoy is to pass and should be removed within one day after the convoy has passed. The markers shall be erected and removed by military personnel.

    The Canadian Forces shall notify the Ministry of their intention to erect convoy markers and the location of these markers prior to their actual installation.

  12. Snowmobile Crossing Sign

    This sign shall be used to warn motorists of the location of a snowmobile crossing where there is a large volume of snowmobiles crossing a highway from an organized trail. Only approved organized snowmobile trail crossings will be signed. Visibility at the crossing must meet the requirements for a commercial entrance.

    Snowmobile clubs are to submit their request on an annual basis to the Delegated Authority for consideration.

    The sign shall be erected prior to November 1st and shall be removed during the month of April. The sign shall be located approximately 150 m in advance of the crossing.

    The complete cost of manufacturing, erection and removal of this sign will be the Ministry responsibility.

  13. Development/Real Estate/Construction Signs

    Development/Real Estate/Construction Signs adjacent to all Highways are subject to the following requirements:

    1. A development/real estate/construction sign which does not exceed 3.0 m2 (32 ft2) shall require a letter of approval.
    2. A development/real estate/construction sign which exceeds 3.0 m2 (32 ft2) but does not exceed the maximum of 46 m2 (500 ft2) shall require a permit.
    3. Signs shall be set back a minimum distance of 3 m (10 ft.) behind the property line.
    4. Signs must not exceed 8 m (25 ft.) in height above the ground.
    5. The signs must be removed when an application for a permanent location or on premise sign is received.
    6. A development/real estate/construction sign may be illuminated.
    7. For development signs, supporting documentation must be submitted with the sign application (i.e. site plan, letter of intent, proof of ownership).
    8. Permit shall be issued for a two (2) year period.
  14. Portable Signs (Mobile)

    A portable trailer, ground, mobile, movable, or framed read-o-graph sign is a sign which is movable and which is not permanently attached to the ground, a structure or any other sign or building.

    Portable signs are subject to the following requirements:

    1. A sign permit is required for every portable sign adjacent to Class 3, 4 and 5 highways. No portable signs are permitted adjacent to Freeways or Expressways (Class 1 and 2 highways 4 lane).
    2. The maximum size of a portable sign will be 8.9 m2 (96 ft2), representing 4.4 m2 (48 ft2) per side.
    3. A one time fee payable to the Minister of Finance will be required.
    4. One portable sign will be allowed for each business property with the exception of plazas and industrial complexes (i.e. 3 or more units). Plazas and industrial complexes will be allowed a maximum of three (3) portables based on one (1) sign per 46 m (150 ft.) of frontage.
    5. The portable sign shall be allowed within the total allowable square metres of location signing allotment available for the site.
    6. The sign permit will only be issued to the property owner, not the portable sign company. Any instructions for compliance will be directed to the property owner.
    7. Portable signs must be kept back a minimum of 3 m (10 ft.) from the property line.
    8. Signs must not be placed to cause a visibility problem.
    9. Signs must not have flashing, intermittent, or actuated lighting of any kind.
    10. The sign must be on the property where the business is conducted and only advertise what is related to that property.
    11. Portable signs are not to be used as billboard signs.
    12. The property owner shall be responsible for obtaining all other municipal approvals.